Yangshan’s “It’s Not That There Is No Enlightenment”
Mihu of Jingzhao had a monastic ask Yangshan, “Can people these days depend on enlightenment?”
Yangshan said, “It’s not that there is no enlightenment, but rather how can we deal with falling into words?” The monastic returned and reported this to Jingzhao, who then approved Yangshan.
Student: “How can we avoid falling into words?”
Master: “Don’t follow words.”
Student: “If we shouldn’t follow the words, why do we need the Sutras and dharma talks?”
Master: “Then, follow words.”
Student: “What shall we do? Make it clear.”
Master: “Following words correctly is avoiding falling into words.”
How could you avoid falling into words without understanding the words ‘Don’t follow words’?
If we could follow words correctly, we could avoid falling into words and get enlightened when we read the Sutras.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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